Updated Monday, August 22 at 7:55 a.m. with information about a second, unrelated stabbing that occurred over the weekend.
A few minutes before 1 p.m. yesterday afternoon, a man was walking south on Third Avenue between Pine and Pike when he bumped into another man, described as "a white male in his 30s wearing a black leather jacket, black pants and black boots." The first man proceeded on his stroll for a few more steps, then noticed something amiss: he'd been stabbed in the lower right side of his body. Ho-hum. Just another day at the crime nexus of downtown Seattle, which also happens to be one of the city's busiest transit hubs.
The wounded man, according to Seattle police, "reported the stabbing to a passerby who summoned assistance." The fire department and police arrived on the scene moments later, but were unable to locate the stab-happy man in black described by the victim, who was eventually transported to Harborview Medical Center with a non-life threatening injury.
SPD spokesman Mark Jamieson says he's unsure if the incident was random or stemmed from some previous confrontation.
What's certain, however, is that the troubles at Third and Pine continue unabated. Our last dispatch from the block covered a non-fatal shooting in July, in which the gunman escaped into the Metro transit tunnel.
In addition to the stabbing yesterday, SPD's online crime map indicates that in the last 48 hours there have been two calls for narcotics complaints, two felony arrest warrants served, two "mischief, nuisance" complaints, two "disturbances," and one call for a "suspicious person."
That last bit is comical, given that at least half the crowd that loiters at the bus stop could easily fall under the "suspicious persons" category.
Jamieson, however, is adamant that SPD is doing its best to patrol the area and keep things under control. "We have officers down there all the time," he says. "We have officers that are down there on foot patrols and officers assigned to bikes."
Daily commuters and tourists hoofing it between Pike Place Market and Westlake Center must feel so reassured.
UPDATE: Just before 3 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, a man visiting downtown Seattle "with his mother and other family members" was stabbed at Third and Pine in what was reportedly an unprovoked attack.
According to the SPD blotter, both the man and his assailant were riding on a bus traveling north on Third when the attacker "got into an altercation with another citizen riding on the bus and subsequently poured a beer on that citizen." After the suds dousing, the eventual victim tried to usher his family off the bus at Third and Pine. The assailant, whose name has not yet been released by SPD, picked a fight just as the tourists tried to make their exit.
"The bus doors opened and the victim and suspect exited the bus at which time the physical altercation between them continued on the sidewalk," SPD writes. "Just north of 3rd Avenue and Pine Street the suspect pulled out a knife and stabbed the victim at least twice before fleeing the scene on foot."
Witnesses called 911, and the stabber was eventually arrested in the vicinity of Fourth and Olive. He was caught carrying a three-and-a-half inch folding pocket knife, and had cuts on his hand sustained during the assault. He was taken to Harborview Medical Center and, according to SPD, "will be booked into the King County Jail for Investigation of Assault upon his release from the hospital."
The victim was also taken to Harborview and treated for non-life threatening injuries.
One more incident like these and the "third" in Third and Pine will reference both the avenue and the number of knife fights that have taken place at the intersection in the past week.